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Buddy Guy

Halfway into the evening, Buddy Guy — wearing an electric-blue jumpsuit, his black Stratocaster covered with those trademark white polka dots — is playing a solo, a real ripper. Without interruption he walks off the stage and vanishes into the wings. He is gone for what seems a long while, band still playing and him still soloing from wherever it is he has disappeared to. “He’s probably taking a leak,” says my friend. It is at this moment that Guy, still honking out the same mean, long, loud guitar solo, walks back out into the stage lights and approaches the microphone. “I was not in the bathroom,” he says, “contrary to what y’all may be thinking. I was trying to come out there in the audience and be with y’all, but security wouldn’t let me pass.” He grins.

Then, with a flick of the neck of his guitar, he stops the band. “Done with that,” he says. “Here’s how Muddy would have played that same thing.” He starts up again and takes it to a whole new place. That, I realize, is why you go to a Buddy Guy concert — not because he’s a living blues legend or any of that. You go to see Buddy Guy because he is entertaining.

Buddy Guy is by now old enough to have performed at four decades of Montreux jazz festivals. Ignored by American listeners during the ’50s and ’60s, Guy’s career took off when British rock stars copied his style and brought it back to these shores in the form of pop hits. Thereafter, Guy’s stage mojo would continue to worm its way into the very essence of the following generation of guitar heroes — heavies like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Forget about his stage jokes — if it’s about an electric guitar, Buddy Guy is the man.

George Thorogood & the Destroyers also perform.

BUDDY GUY, Viejas Concerts in the Park, Sunday, August 3, 7 p.m. 619-445-5400. $56.

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Halfway into the evening, Buddy Guy — wearing an electric-blue jumpsuit, his black Stratocaster covered with those trademark white polka dots — is playing a solo, a real ripper. Without interruption he walks off the stage and vanishes into the wings. He is gone for what seems a long while, band still playing and him still soloing from wherever it is he has disappeared to. “He’s probably taking a leak,” says my friend. It is at this moment that Guy, still honking out the same mean, long, loud guitar solo, walks back out into the stage lights and approaches the microphone. “I was not in the bathroom,” he says, “contrary to what y’all may be thinking. I was trying to come out there in the audience and be with y’all, but security wouldn’t let me pass.” He grins.

Then, with a flick of the neck of his guitar, he stops the band. “Done with that,” he says. “Here’s how Muddy would have played that same thing.” He starts up again and takes it to a whole new place. That, I realize, is why you go to a Buddy Guy concert — not because he’s a living blues legend or any of that. You go to see Buddy Guy because he is entertaining.

Buddy Guy is by now old enough to have performed at four decades of Montreux jazz festivals. Ignored by American listeners during the ’50s and ’60s, Guy’s career took off when British rock stars copied his style and brought it back to these shores in the form of pop hits. Thereafter, Guy’s stage mojo would continue to worm its way into the very essence of the following generation of guitar heroes — heavies like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Forget about his stage jokes — if it’s about an electric guitar, Buddy Guy is the man.

George Thorogood & the Destroyers also perform.

BUDDY GUY, Viejas Concerts in the Park, Sunday, August 3, 7 p.m. 619-445-5400. $56.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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